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Australia Seeks Tax Changes on Sukuk: Islamic Finance

Australia plans to change laws to ensure Islamic finance products are taxed fairly as the government seeks to attract investors from the Middle East and Asia, paving the way for sukuk sales.

The national taxation board will hold talks next month in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne on how to best ensure that Islamic finance transactions are treated the same as equivalent non-Islamic deals. The board noted this month that mortgages that comply with religious principles may lead to stamp duty being paid twice, as the financier buys the property and then sells it to his client. Under a conventional mortgage there is only one sale that attracts the duty.